Will LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson go No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft? If NFL.com's Pat Kirwan had the selection, he would do that at the moment. In his two-round mock draft, Kirwan has Peterson as the first overall selection. The rest of his top 10 is defense-heavy, as only three offensive players go in the top 10: quarterbacks Cam Newton (No. 4) and Blaine Gabbert (No. 5) and wide receiver A.J. Green (No. 6).
So, which three players do the Broncos select in this mock? With the No. 2 pick, Kirwan opts for Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, the vogue pick for the Broncos right now. He does seem to be the safer of the two with Nick Fairley.
The Broncos have two second-round selections, which will help them rebuild the team. The first pick, No. 36, has them selecting Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure. Leshoure is the second running back off the board, as Alabama Mark Ingram was the only one to go in the first round (No. 15 to the Dolphins). Mocking The Draft has Leshoure as the No. 2 running back in the draft and writes that he could be a team's lead back in a committee situation. The Broncos' running game was poor in 2010 and adding Leshoure in a tandem with Knowshon Moreno would likely help things (as would a stable line, which it took weeks for the Broncos to settle on).
The other pick, No. 46, is Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph, MTD's top-rated tight end. With Daniel Graham's release and only Dan Gronkowski and Richard Quinn on the roster, the Broncos could use a young, pass-catching tight end.